Employees often have a hard time understanding and implementing the always-evolving business processes.
Productivity and efficiency witness a sharp drop when employees encounter challenges making heads and tails of their business processes.
That’s precisely why you need to document your process workflows.
A dedicated document workflow acts as a single source of truth, explaining to employees every step of your business processes so that there is no room for confusion or errors. It provides clarity on the stakeholders involved, steps to be undertaken, approval checkpoints, and the ultimate objective of a process.
This blog explains workflow documentation in detail and how it can be created in just five simple steps.
What Is a Workflow Documentation?
Process workflow documentation indicates the entire lifecycle of your business processes. Right from capturing information to editing, approving, storing, and sharing information with stakeholders, the workflow documentation covers every stage of your business processes. With well-written workflow documentation, there is more transparency and fewer human errors, ensuring efficient business operations.
Top Benefits of Workflow Documentation
Document workflow management can bring numerous benefits to your business. Let’s look at some of the major advantages:
1. Aids Collaboration
Workflow documentation management ensures process information is quickly accessible to everyone across teams. With easy and instant access to critical company documents, employees can work in collaboration and stay on the same page. They can address challenges together and keep close track of every change made in your company’s documentation.
Read More: Best Document Collaboration Tools
2. Boosts Security
Document security is a prevalent issue most companies face. With a dedicated workflow documentation system, you can keep critical process information safe and secure. Such a system allows only authorized individuals to access your documentation, thus preventing any unwanted activities. Not just this, you can also restrict access to specific folders and allow only selected individuals to view or edit them.
3. Improves Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency can substantially improve with a full-fledged documentation workflow system. As employees have quick access to your company’s processes, they are bound to work more productively and make the right decisions. This ultimately results in improved organizational efficiency.
How to Document Workflows for Your Business Processes
“How to document workflows?” – this is a common question most businesses have encountered at some point.
It’s time to spill the beans and explain the steps that go into documenting workflows for your business processes.
Goals without proper planning is like going on a road journey without a map in hand. It’s all directionless and aimless.
Planning is a crucial component of workflow process documentation as it gives you and your team a proper path to walk on. This is the stage where you consult with key stakeholders about the content that should go into your documentation.
In the planning phase, you should capture as much information as possible from all stakeholders, so it can be structured and put to optimal use in the next steps.
Read More: How to create Process Documentation
2. Content Creation & Structure
After planning comes content creation and structure.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, put it together on a cloud-based platform. This is the place where employees can directly contribute to the document, import existing files, and give a proper structure to the content.
Documentation tools like ProProfs help you bring employees under a single roof by assigning them specific roles and permissions. With clearly defined roles, employees can work in collaboration and build content for your workflow process documentation.
Here’s a quick video that explains how employees can collaborate together on your documentation:
While creating content, ensure that it is structured in the right way to help readers navigate through the topics effortlessly. The document should start with a home page giving a glimpse into the inside content. There should be a table of contents with broad topics and their sub-categories defined clearly.
Next, you can even interlink articles and add a “Related Articles” section at the bottom of every page. This will give a prim and proper structure to your documentation, ensuring a delightful learning experience for your employees.
3. Content Review & Approval
This stage involves reviewing the content rigorously to ensure a flawless output.
Every article that goes into your workflow documents should pass through multiple review cycles where editors and subject matter experts vet the content for factual, structural, and grammatical errors.
When the content is regularly reviewed by experts, the quality and accuracy of process-related information are bound to be up to the par. Employees will always have access to reliable information that can be trusted and used without second thoughts.
Using online documentation software, you can set up a workflow review and approval process. You can give every article a unique status, such as – Draft, In Progress, Ready for Review, or Published, depending on its stage. This boosts transparency and helps you keep a close track of the journey of each article, right from the time it’s written till it finally gets approved and published.
4. Capture Feedback
The best way to test your process workflows is by regularly collecting feedback from employees. Their suggestions will introduce you to a whole new dimension, so you can adjust your workflows accordingly.
Additionally, employee feedback will bring to spotlight the problems existing in your current process workflows. With such crucial knowledge at your disposal, you will be better positioned to fine-tune the workflows and bring the necessary changes to your documentation.
But here’s a question, how do you capture feedback once your documentation is live?
It’s simple. You can add feedback forms and surveys to help employees give their suggestions right away.
For example, after every article, add a feedback form with the question – Did you find this information helpful? Provide Yes/No as the answer options and also let employees give detailed feedback in the comment box.
Here’s a quick video on how you can add feedback forms and surveys to your documentation.
5. Analyze, Improve, & Revise
The process of documenting workflows and publishing them has more to it than what meets the eye.
Once your documentation is out there helping employees understand process workflows, you have to do everything possible to maintain the relevance and accuracy of the information provided.
As time passes, your business processes and workflows are bound to evolve. And this should reflect in your documentation too. After every few days or months, run a quality check to see if things are moving in the right direction if the information provided is serving the purpose.
By deploying the best software documentation tool, you can easily monitor your document’s performance and gauge its effectiveness.
Such tools come with built-in reports that provide a sneak peek into several metrics, such as:
- Failed and successful searches
- Best and poor-performing articles
- Broken links, and much more.
Keeping an eye on these metrics will help you identify improvement areas that need your immediate attention.
Watch this video to learn more about how reports can be analyzed:
All Set to Build Your Workflow Process Documentation?
Building a workflow process document is pretty simple and straightforward if you know the right steps.
Start by creating a strong plan that guides you every step of the way. Once you have a plan ready, start creating content for your documentation. This can be done collaboratively by teams. Employees across departments can work collectively and bring their unique insights to the table.
Review the content that goes into your documentation to make sure it is error-free. Capturing feedback and tracking performance metrics are also important steps that shouldn’t be ignored while creating process documentation.
ProProfs Knowledge Base can offer all the help you need for the successful execution of this process. It is well-equipped with powerful features for writing, designing, and publishing documentation that reads well and looks great.
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